All Mouth is an online gallery founded in March 2020 by final-year art students Jack Chauncy and Georg Wilson. Interview by Jody Mulvey.
Why did you set up All Mouth? Was it a response to lockdown or were you already planning it?
Before the pandemic hit, we had been talking about starting a project that would bring together the creative people we have met over the years. The first lockdown gave us the opportunity to make it happen. During those first months creating All Mouth, we were able to feel a little more connected to other creative people around the country through sharing and exhibiting work, whilst it was also a welcome distraction from the stress of graduating during a pandemic.
Do you view you All Mouth as complementary to your own practice? How have you found juggling these projects with anything else you currently are doing?
Although we both have quite different practices (Jack is studying conservation of paintings at The Courtauld and Georg is on the Painting MA at the RCA), All Mouth certainly complements our individual work in many ways. For example, talking to different artists about their idiosyncratic uses of material has been especially valuable – these kinds of conversations, where you can learn from each other and share ideas, were one of the things we missed the most at the start of the pandemic.
Once our postgraduate courses started, at first it was difficult juggling All Mouth with the workload, but I think we’ve worked out a balance now. You just have to be prepared to be working a little bit all the time, managing the Instagram and doing emails on the go.
You showcase one work at a time on your digital exhibition space. Can you explain why this is important, particularly in relation to ‘slow looking’ and the digitisation of the arts?
As our lives are progressively more mediated by the digital, we think the most important thing is to slow down and make sure we are going in the right direction. The online art world is becoming an increasingly commercial space, and we could easily forget that art is not primarily a commercial pursuit. We are still learning, but we want to make the All Mouth website a quieter online space where each work gets the space it deserves, away from the distractions of endless scrolling and targeted ads.
You’ve recently celebrated your first birthday (congratulations!) and to celebrate you launched a podcast. Do you believe arts organisations should have a variety of projects to engage with their audience in different ways?
A variety of projects isn’t essential, but we believe that hosting a podcast, public activities, and exhibitions helps to broaden the accessibility of our platform. For example, during the second lockdown we organised a UK-wide postal art swap that anyone could participate in, which was a fun way of connecting artists together in discussions about their work. Making the podcast has created a record of conversations with emerging contemporary artists in which we share ideas or approaches that we hope other artists can listen to and be inspired by.
You’ve spoken of wanting to hold physical exhibitions once lockdown restrictions ease. What have you learnt from digitally curating online and will you continue to utilise digital platforms to engage with your audience?
Despite the endless capacity of digital exhibitions, we have learnt to opt for smaller, focused online shows that give each artwork lots of viewing space. This Spring we launched an open call for tiny artworks, which will form two online exhibitions, on our website and with The Auction Collective. The digital framework of this project will allow us to reach more people than a physical show, granting further opportunities to emerging artists.
What does the future hold for All Mouth?
We’re still learning as we go, so there’s lots more room for that. In All Mouth’s second year we just want to be able to host more physical shows, go to more exhibitions and meet more wonderful artists.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
The art world can be intimidating, but in our first year as All Mouth we’ve also found it to be full of generous people – if you’re ever looking for advice, don’t be shy and reach out!
1,2. All Mouth gallery.
3. All Mouth founders Jack Chauncy and Georg Wilson.